Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Where's The Video In the "New" CCIE Collaboration?

As noted in my blog entry "CCIE Needs Its Voice Back", Cisco recently announced a new CCIE track: CCIE Collaboration AND they announced they would be retiring the CCIE Voice. This means that all certified Voice IEs are also retired.

Over the past week, the Voice IE community has stepped up and made their "VOICE" heard. We have been active in Twitter, Facebook, the Learning Network, and several Cisco online communities. I have been wading through the various threads and noted that there is a common misconception from those that support the retirement of the Voice IE. That misconception takes various forms of the argument: CCIE Voice is just voice and the new exam is much more. One of the commonly quoted "NEW" technologies is video.

There are several people who have said that the new IE is more than voice because it adds video and this creates a whole new paradigm. I see this response and I am honestly a little confused. I look at the new blueprint and the new equipment list and I have to ask: "Where is the video?"

Can you find the video?

The CCIE Collaboration blueprint only mentions video twice. According to the blueprint you will have to deal with video codec negotiation and provisioning from CUCM and you will need to account for video when provisioning QoS. That all makes sense. I also assume there is other video-esque config items. For instance, the Jabber for Windows client is also listed in the blueprint. So, it is fair to assume that video will be a valid ask there.

The equipment list sheds more light on the current expectations:

  • There are PVDM3s, so video media termination can play here
  • There is a 9971 phone with a USB camera (that just makes me laugh)
  • There is Jabber for Windows
  • There is Jabber Video for Cisco Telepresence (aka Movi)*
*Note: The Movi client is "in the cloud" so, the candidate is not required to configure

What's there is not what interests me. I am more interested in what is missing. For instance, the following is not represented:

  • Cisco TMS
  • Cisco VCS and VCS Expressway
  • Cisco MCUs (any)
  • Any of the pre-Tandberg TelePresence endpoints/infrastructure/etc.

Why is this relevant?

I am spending time putting this in a blog because the presence of video is one of the common counter arguments I have seen in various forum threads, FB threads, and in Twitter dialogs. People who say the new IE Collaboration is a drastic deviation from the IE Voice because of the video add are overstating the blueprint requirements. 

The reality is that the actual video presence in the new blueprint is disappointing. To be honest, I was expecting more video. 

Will video come later?

You may or may not know that Cisco launched the CCNA Video earlier this year. Which begs the question: Will there be a Professional level certification that is focused on video? Will there be an Expert level certification focused on video?

IMO, that would be pretty ridiculous.

Thanks for reading. If you have time, post a comment!


  1. I remembered that cisco sent a survey about video's certifications asking if Cisco needs a complete video path (ccna, ccnp, ccie) or keeps Video Specialist Certifications.

    I'll cancel my lab and wait for collaboration.
    I need to figure out how to buy 29xx routers and video endpoints for training on my home lab.

    It's a shame that cisco puts their in-house video's solution for IE collaboration lab.

    I have access to TMS, VSC-C VCS-E MUC in my current job but is not worth for this new blueprint.

    best regards


  2. Hi Bell,

    I already attempted once for ccie voice lab exam but could not make it,i schedule for next lab attempt in the month of July 2013 so what is your suggestion should i continue or drop the exam and take it on CCIE Collaboration


    1. I'd say you should stick with your original plans. The community's push back has made an impression and Cisco has modified their position. You can read about it here:


      -Bill (@ucguerrilla)

  3. I think you hit the nail on the head in the 1st writeup Bill. It's about marketing. It's not about the huge overlap between v3 and v4 blueprints, it's about a perception that Cisco wants to create. They WANT the new track to encompass all of the 'new' shiny tech, and want to brand it as such. A few years ago, the v4 track might have been renamed 'CCIE Unified Communications'. That ship has sailed though, so it's 'CCIE Collaboration'. It's not about the tech. It's about the desired marketing image.

  4. hello

    I am willing to do ccie collab but i dont know were to start
    can u guide me?

  5. start with the CCNA Collaboration